Untitled (Earth Orchid)

Site performance kiln/furnace, 32 ft. long, steel, refractory cement, propane, ceramic fiber blanket, concrete foundation, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT, 1988

Left: pre-firing, back view

Center: fire state.

Right: post-firing, cooled, altered state, ceramic fiber blanket removed.

The first of three performance/site works in the series: 51 Million BTU's. The three works of this series investigate the relationship of the kiln, it's burning of fossil fuels and the fuels ancient botanical origin and geologic transformation. The firing was done as a one evening performance event where the fuel (natural gas in this case) was ignited within the “earth orchid” form, momentarily re-united with the bio-morphology and meta-photosynthetic condition of the kiln at high temperature, reminiscent of it's origin and transformation in past geologic time. A studio-based study for this concept, Coral Orchid, 1983, preceeded Untitled (Earth Orchid).
The other projects in 51 Million BTU's are Oculus: Dead Sea/Oil Field, 1989 and Humboldt Ship, 1989. A video installation/project, 51 Million BTU’s/Metabolism Study/C3H8, e-, NaCl, examines and tranforms the energy expenditure of the three projects. The 51 Million BTU series were progenator's of subsequent projects: Metabolism and Mortality/O2, 1992, Rotting Flame, 1994, and Pitzer Project: A Prototype System for the Production and Distribution of Ancient Sunlight, 1996

Furnace Projects, Constance Lewallan

Kiln Projects: Material and Process Experiments in/of the Landscape, John Roloff